Puerto Vallarta Events
Puerto Vallarta events occur throughout the year, though most tourists will come for those that happen during the peak season when the weather is the best. Several festivals in Puerto Vallarta also occur during this prime tourist time.
What is undoubtedly the most awe-inspiring Puerto Vallarta event has been occurring with regularity for millennia, quite possibly even before there were people living here. This is the spectacle of the annual migration of the great humpback whales. They spend their summers in Arctic waters around Alaska, and return to sheltered coves and rich feeding grounds of Banderas Bay as early as mid-October to calve. Here they stay with their calves until about mid-March, and whale watching trips are made daily during this time.
Another Puerto Vallarta event that involves the water is the International Sailfish Tournament held in mid-November, when avid anglers from around the world compete to land the largest specimen of this fierce fighting fish. If you plan on deep sea fishing during this period, you should make your plans as far in advance as possible because most of the boats are fully chartered.
One of the important Puerto Vallarta events pays tribute to the art and artists for which the city is known. Artists have been flocking to this region since the 1950s and 1960s, and there are many respected painters, sculptors, and craftspeople who make the area their home. Additionally, highly respected international artists and artists from other places in Mexico are showcased in the fine galleries and boutiques that are found in Old Town. The Camino de Arte is a guided stroll through some of the top galleries held once a week beginning in the third week of October and ending in the last week of May. This is a perfect way to go shopping, as you have expert advice about what is often museum-quality work.
Like all of Mexico, this is a devout Catholic region, and religious festivals in Puerto Vallarta are important to the local people. Semana Santa (Holy Week ) is the Easter celebration, occurring sometime from about the end of March to the first week of April (depending on when Easter falls). There is a Passion Play at Los Arcos, the Arches on the beaches at the end of the Malecon. There are also concerts, parties, and parades in the streets. The two-week-early December Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival is one of the most important religious festivals in Puerto Vallarta as well as in the rest of Mexico.
Another Puerto Vallarta event that is celebrated elsewhere in Mexico, as well as Mexican communities in the United States, is Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) with its elaborate carnival processions. The city also celebrates Mexican Independence Day on September 16. Celebrations begin the previous evening with fireworks on the beaches, folkloric dances, and music.
Puerto Vallarta events that are exclusive to the city include May 31 (the founding of the city) and the Puerto Vallarta Film Festival in mid-December. Charro Day (Cowboy Day) in mid-September sees cowboys from the surrounding estancias (ranches) showing off their skilled horsemanship with a series of daring rodeo events.
The Vallarta Gourmet Festival occurs over a ten-day period in November, and showcases some of the best dining experiences possible in this city known as the culinary capital of Mexico. Internationally respected chefs from around the world fly in to compete, and the best restaurants and hotels take part in a frenzy of gourmet culinary events held all over the city including at properties like the exclusive Four Seasons on Punta Mita, the Westin in Marina Vallarta, and many of the restaurants on Restaurant Row in Old Town.